The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Electoral Commission to prosecute and fine the individual or organisation responsible for playing Te Pāti Māori’s campaign song at a polling booth on Election Day under s 197 of the Electoral Act 1993.
Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:
“The Electoral Commission must come down hard on this to send a message that breaches of electoral rules are a serious offence and any attempt, no matter how small, to interfere with the democratic process will be met with the full force of the law. Democracy is a sacred institution and critical for ensuring accountability for decision makers, we must not let public trust in it be eroded by what appear to be tacit political endorsements at state-run polling stations.
“What is particularly concerning is that this occurred at a polling station in an electorate that was won by a margin of just four votes. If even just a few people were influenced by this, we would have had a different election result. If strong action is not taken, future political parties or candidates may determine it is worth breaking the rules in a marginal electorate if the only punishment is a slap on the wrist.
“A swift and public investigation and prosecution must take place to send a clear message: New Zealand will not tolerate behaviour that breaches electoral rules.”